Friday, February 17, 2012

Chicken is no longer a healthy low fat meat

I read Scalzi on the shortcomings of people who eat Butter Chicken today. I'd never heard of Butter Chicken, so I looked it up and apparently it's Murgh Makhani, and got its English name from the dollop of butter that's melted onto it just before it's served.  I'm half-way through cooking it, and I have to say it appears to be Chicken Tikka Masala, except without tikka-ing the chicken first.  Oh, and the butter thing.

But that's not what's important right now.  What's important is, I went out to buy 'boneless skinless chicken thighs' since that was the recommended meat - in order to save me, I suppose, cutting a chicken into 8 parts with a sharp knife, something I'm quite capable of doing but why should I, if it costs slightly less per pound to have the boning and skinning done for me?

Anyway,  this is what a boneless, skinless chicken thigh looked like, straight from the package. 

Have you ever seen such a thing?  The fat is hanging down off every muscle group like congealed candle wax. I'm not blaming this particular brand, either. It's been like this for years.  And these chickens really are chickens, not hens. They are SIX WEEKS OLD. In six weeks they've managed to put on so much fat that the meat is half hidden.

I remember a few years ago - probably more than ten years, now - reading Muscle and Fitness Magazine. It was an article about the nutrient value of various foods. The foods were described as 'with all visible fat removed', and M&F reminded us readers that they meant it. They have technicians wielding scalpels removing all the fat before the calories are determined. It's the only way to be sure that two cuts of meat are properly compared, since one steak might have a half-inch of fat on the outside and one a quarter inch. Every bit is removed.

I don't have a scalpel, but I always trim chicken thighs so as not to eat the great stalagmite fountains of saturated fat that cascade down their outsides and infiltrate pockets between muscle groups on the insides.  The above picture is of the same thigh trimmed of fat (with scissors!) and the resulting pile of waste.  Fat's lighter than meat, so the pile may be a third the size of the meat, but it's only about a quarter of the weight.

What do they feed these poor creatures on? I hear that they often expire as the weight of their breast muscle breaks their legs as they grow - and they put on fat as well! I've started buying cage-free eggs, and I think I'm going to have to move to free range chickens also - for my health as well as theirs.


Bruv said...

Hi Sis

I can't believe that you have lost the use of your arms and can't buy whole chickens or at least whole chicken legs. I also can't believe the amount of fat on those portions, what are they feeding them on Big Macs!!!!


Bruv said...

Hi Sis

I am not a fan of big Sunday dinners, I always finish up leaving half of it, but Chris with her 100 pound frame demolishes the lot!! But as it is a rare occasion to have roast chicken for one of these gargantuan Sunday dinners we tend to go for a free range or "corn fed" chicken and they do taste better and when you go back to the mass produced version it is like eating cardboard, so yes give the free range chicken a try.



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